Executive Director

 

BIOGRAPHY

On 1 January 2011, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a physician and public health expert, became only the fourth Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin was Nigeria’s Minister of Health. Prior to that, he was Director-General of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of AIDS, which coordinates HIV and AIDS work in a country of more than 160 million people.

Dr. Osotimehin qualified as a doctor from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1972, and went to the University of Birmingham, England, where he got a doctorate in medicine in 1979. He was appointed Professor at the University of Ibadan in 1980 and headed the Department of Clinical Pathology before being elected Provost of the College of Medicine in 1990. Years later, he served in several organizations, including as Chair of the National Action Committee on AIDS, from 2002 to 2007. Dr. Osotimehin received the Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in December 2005.

At UNFPA, he has introduced major reforms to make the Fund more focused and results-oriented as well as intensified efforts to promote the rights and ability of young people to build a better world in the context of sexual and reproductive health.

He is married and has five children.

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EDUCATION 

  • Dr. Osotimehin is a physician who graduated from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with an MBBS in 1972
  • Received a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, in 1979

PREVIOUS POSITIONS

  • African Spokesperson, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Minister of Health, Nigeria, December 2008–March 2010
  • Director-General, Nigerian National Agency for the Control of AIDS, March 2007–December 2008
  • Chairman, National Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria, July 2002–March 2007
  • Project Manager, HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project (World Bank-Assisted), 2002-2008
  • Chairman, Project Governing Board, Joint Regional HIV/AIDS Project in the Abidjan–Lagos Transport Corridor, 2003-2008
  • Vice-President, 14th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), 2005
  • Chairman, Committee of Presidential Advisers of AIDS Watch Africa
  • Member, Policy and Strategy Committee, Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Member, Global Steering Committee on Universal Access
  • Coordinator, the Social Sciences and Reproductive Health Research Network, Ibadan, Nigeria (an interdisciplinary network comprising sociologists, economists, doctors, lawyers, psychologists and human nutritionists dedicated to applying innovative research techniques to reproductive health and human development)
  • Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, 1990–1994
  • Professor of Clinical Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, 1980.

MEMBERSHIPS/AFFILIATIONS

  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK)
  • Fellow in Endocrinology, Cornell University Graduate School of Medicine, New York, United States, 1979-1980
  • Distinguished Visitor, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, United States, 1996
  • Visiting Fellow, Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 1996-1997
  • Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences since 2006.
  • Population Association of America
  • International Advisory Group, Population and Reproductive Health, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago
  • Regional Advisory Panel (Africa and the Middle East), Special Programme on Research and Research Training in the Human Reproduction Programme of the World Health Organization
  • Chairman of the Committee to draft a Policy on Basic Health Sciences Research and Health Technology Delivery for the Nigerian Government
  • Nigerian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism
  • The Nigerian Medical Association
  • The Nigerian Institute of Management

MAJOR CONFERENCES AND FORUMS ATTENDED

  • The International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, 1994
  • The United Nations Women’s Conference, Beijing, 1995
  • Confintea - UNESCO 5th International Conference on Adult Education, Hamburg, Germany, 1997
  • The 2nd International Interdisciplinary Conference on Women and Health, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999
  • World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization, 2006–2009
  • United Nations General Assembly, New York, 2006-2010
  • Virtually every major international forum on HIV and AIDS, such as:

- African Development Forum on AIDS: The Greatest Leadership Challenge, Addis Ababa, December, 2000
- Organization of African Unity Special Meeting on HIV/AIDS in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria, April 2001
- United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions/Meetings on HIV and AIDS, New York, 2003 and 2006
- International Conferences on AIDS and STIs in Africa, Nairobi (2003) and Abuja (2005)
- General Assembly of the African Union, Addis Ababa (2004) and Khartoum (2006)
- International AIDS Conferences in Barcelona (2002); Bangkok (2004); Toronto (2006) and Mexico City (2005)

HONOUR

  • Awarded the Nigerian national honour, Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), December 2005.

RELATED INFO

Official Photo 1 (hi res)

Official Photo 2 (hi res)

Photo Gallery

Opinion Pieces

Swearing-in Ceremony - VIDEO

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22 September 2014

Empowering girls key to Africa's success, leaders affirm

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “With significant investments in the education of young girls, sexual and reproductive health for youth and adolescents, as well as women’s empowerment in our counties, we will change the face of the Sahel,” President of Chad Idriss Déby said at the United Nations today, during a high-level panel on the potential of young people to drive economic growth in the Sahel region of Africa. Only by investing in the skills and rights of young people – particularly adolescent girls – can the region take advantage of a demographic dividend, a key opportunity to improve livelihoods and living standards, the leaders present said. more
22 September 2014

Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the Follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development

Over the past 20 years, we have seen the rise of hundreds of millions out of poverty, gender parity in primary education, fewer women dying giving life and more women in the workforce. These advances show just how powerful development founded on dignity and human rights can be. But we still have a long way to go. more
22 September 2014

Human rights, dignity must form cornerstone of future sustainable development

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “We cannot talk about sustainable development without addressing women’s empowerment, gender inequality, and discrimination and violence,” said UNFPA’s Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin. “We cannot talk about sustainable development without ensuring the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all.” These remarks set the tone of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), taking place today at UN Headquarters in New York. more
21 September 2014

In race to save women’s lives, solutions are within reach, says UNFPA head

NEW YORK, United States – There are fewer than 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and too little progress has been made towards reducing maternal and child deaths. Yet simple, proven interventions can make these goals attainable, said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA’s Executive Director, at the fifth annual Social Good Summit, a conference of world leaders, activists and technology experts, held today in New York. more
05 September 2014

UNFPA: The path forward

We also know that in order to make progress, in order to advance a universal sustainable development agenda beyond 2015, we must work towards a common understanding of the universality of human rights. Development can only succeed when human rights are respected. more
21 August 2014

UN Secretary-General reappoints Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin as UNFPA Executive Director

UNITED NATIONS, New York – The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has reappointed Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin as the Executive Director of UNFPA. In his statement on the appointment, the Secretary-General noted his “appreciation for UNFPA’s progress in effective management for results, especially for the most disadvantaged women and adolescent girls”. more
19 August 2014

Statement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin for World Humanitarian Day 2014

As we celebrate World Humanitarian Day, I salute those who respond to crises and work tirelessly to save people in times of deep distress and danger. Today’s theme, “The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes,” calls attention to the courage and commitment of humanitarians who respond to increasing disasters and persistent conflicts around the world. They put their own lives at risk to save the lives of others. more
18 August 2014

Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

With just 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we must all intensify our actions to hit our targets, especially the MDG 5 targets to reduce maternal death and achieve universal reproductive health. There is no time for complacency when 800 women and girls continue to die each day of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and more than 220 million women who want to plan their births continue to lack modern contraception. more
12 August 2014

International Youth Day Statement of the Executive Director, UNFPA

A safe and healthy passage from adolescence into adulthood is the right of every child. Being healthy means not merely the absence of illness, but complete physical, mental and social well-being. An essential component of this is being able to realize one’s potential, cope with the stresses of life, build healthy relationships, work productively and participate fully in society. more